Building the Knowledge and Capacity of Funders Supporting Public Engagement with Evidence

Media Impact Funders (MIF) is a network of philanthropists and foundations that fund public-interest media and technology projects, including documentary films, investigative reporting and social media campaigns. Through programs and communications, MIF enables funders to collaborate and increase the effectiveness of their work. Amid a rapidly changing media landscape, an epidemic of mis- and disinformation, and dwindling public trust in experts and traditional sources of information, there is a critical need to apply the latest research in developing public-interest media. The Rita Allen Foundation previously supported the creation of Assessing Impact of Media, an evolving collection of research, articles and tools to help grant makers evaluate and improve the projects they support. Now, MIF will expand on this model to curate and publicize emerging research on connecting audiences with science and other evidence-based topics—beginning with findings from The Public Face of Science project and the National Academies’ Committee on the Science of Science Communication. MIF will convene funders and share resources to help grant makers and media producers apply new knowledge about how to meaningfully engage audiences—with a focus on complex and contentious issues related to health, the environment, and other areas where understanding evidence is vital to making informed decisions.